Happening Today: Former Horry County police detective Troy Allen Large will be in court. His lawyer asking for his GPS monitoring and house arrest to be removed https://t.co/NQlg5ltOyt— Liz Cooper (@LizCooperABC15) December 5, 2017
We are supposed to expect individuals tasked with enforcing our laws to protect us from harm and to seek ways to restore justice when we’ve been harmed. In Horry County, South Carolina, however, one officer’s conduct of abuse went on for years without any action taken against him.
Troy Allen Large passed away earlier this year, but before he died, he admitted in court depositions to filming women in nude “catfight” videos.
“It’s not illegal. Some people like it,” he said. “It’s a fetish. It’s embarrassing. I don’t know why I think it’s neat. I like [mixed martial artist fighter] Rhonda Rousey. I like that.”
There’s nothing illegal about what Large suggested, so long as the women are willing participants. But several women have come forward saying they were unwilling victims of Large’s, being coerced or sexually assaulted until they agreed to participate.
Those stories are part of a plethora of other instances in which Large, who served on the Horry County Police Department for 27 years, abused women. Many of them were, in fact, part of investigations he was involved in solving. In one example, a woman going by the name “Rachel” said that Large was tasked with investigating her husband’s threat toward her in 2015 with a firearm.
During the ensuing year in which Large investigated her case, Rachel said she was assaulted more than 50 times, including being coerced into a “nude sexual fetish 'catfight' video with another female victim of domestic abuse.”
In another example, Large was assigned to investigate a claim of kidnapping and rape that happened to a woman going by the name “Alyssa.” But instead of investigating her claim, he tried to get her to do other acts.
Large tried to get Alyssa to be in one of his videos. He also told her he wanted to watch her perform oral sex on other officers in his department. He eventually convinced Alyssa to perform a separate sex act.
More examples abound that demonstrate the abuse that Large engaged in. Although his death largely ends many lawsuits made directly against him, the department that Large worked with, as well as the county in general, still faces legal action against them — the women allege that other officers and Large’s superiors were well-aware of his behavior and failed to take any disciplinary action at all against him over the course of several years of complaints.
These women expected law enforcement to help them seek justice in situations where they had been assaulted or abused. Instead, at least one law enforcement officer took advantage of their vulnerable state of minds and abused them himself, while the agency he worked for ignored their plights.
These women must be heard, and if negligence did indeed take place, it must be rectified accordingly. There’s no excuse for an officer of the law engaging in this sort of behavior — but we should also have zero tolerance when it comes to law enforcement agencies taking no action against these types of officers, or otherwise ignoring clear instances of assault or abuse when they happen.
It’s chilling that Large was able to conduct himself in this way for as many years as he did, and the Horry County Police Department, regardless of the outcomes of the court cases against them, must reform itself to ensure this does not happen ever again.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Flickr, Elvert Barnes